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Master of Arts (MA)

Course-based program

Program overview

The course-based MA program is ideal for students seeking a broad background in philosophy, and is especially suited for those without an undergraduate degree in philosophy, or those who seek part-time study.

Students will become part of a vibrant intellectual community in one of Canada's preeminent philosophy programs. Activities coordinated by the philosophy department include graduate seminars, regular research group meetings and an active series of visiting speakers. All full-time students get office space in the department with access to computer facilities. The department's open layout, with offices around a central lounge area, invites the social and intellectual exchange that is fundamental to an education in philosophy.

Completing this program

  • Core Courses: Two courses in the history of philosophy, two courses in 20th century/contemporary philosophy and the Graduate Proseminar.

  • Remedial Courses: If required, students will remedy background deficiencies taking senior undergraduate course work.

  • Additional Courses: Topics may include philosophy of science, history of philosophy, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of language, epistemology, logic and more.

  • Course Load: Students must complete at least one course in each annual registration period.


Academia, law, public policy, research analysis, consulting, publishing.

A course-based master’s degree in philosophy is usually considered a final degree.

*Note: Students interested in research careers should apply to the thesis-based program and/or contact the GPD prior to application

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

2 years years full-time; six years maximum


A supervisor is not required

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

Explore the University of Calgary (UCalgary) from anywhere. Experience all that UCalgary has to offer for your graduate student journey without physically being on campus. Discover the buildings, student services and available programs all from your preferred device.

Admission Requirements


A minimum of 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

A four-year undergraduate degree with honours or a major in philosophy. Applicants with a degree in a related academic field will be considered.

Work samples

A sample of written work, such as a recent essay, written in English. 

The sample should be 10-15 pages including bibliography, prepared for anonymous review.



Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For Admission September 1:

January 6

Canadians and permanent residents are strongly urged to apply for SSHRC scholarships in the Fall prior to application.

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Philosophy

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Advisor

Visit the departmental website


Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website